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What to watch today: Dow futures go positive after Fed details $2.3 trillion in loan programs


Dow futures turned positive Thursday after the Federal Reserve unveiled details of its much-anticipated Main Street lending program and other initiatives — $2.3 trillion in efforts aimed at supporting the economy. Later in the morning, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell talks at a Brookings Institution webinar about the central bank’s coronavirus intervention measures. (CNBC)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained nearly 780 points, or 3.4% on Wednesday, after Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic presidential nomination race. The stock market is closed Friday in observance of Good Friday. (CNBC)

Much-awaited stimulus cash will begin flooding into millions of bank accounts next week in the first wave of payouts to shore up the nation’s wallets. Millions of taxpayers will begin receiving the extra money to pay rent, groceries and other bills next week, or possibly as early as today or tomorrow. (USA Today)


Disney shares were surging over 5% in Thursday’s premarket trading after the media and theme park giant announced that its new video streaming service Disney+ now has over 50 million paid subscribers. Disney+, which launched five months ago, was doing well even before of the coronavirus pandemic, which is keeping people stuck at home and spending more time online. (CNBC)


Starbucks (SBUX) said its fiscal second-quarter profit would likely drop by 47% due to the coronavirus impact, and that it was abandoning its full-year forecast. The coffee chain is also suspending its share buyback program, although it will continue to pay its dividend.

Costco (COST) reported a 9.6% jump in March same-store sales, thanks in large part to virus-related stockpiling.

Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) have both had swipe fee increases in the works for months, according to The Wall Street Journal. The increases were planned before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the paper said it is unclear whether the fee hikes will be rolled out if the pandemic persists.

Spirits maker Diageo (DEO) pulled its 2020 sales and profit forecast, and also suspended its $5.6 billion stock buyback program. However, the company did say it would pay its April dividend as planned.

United Parcel Service (UPS) was downgraded to neutral from buy at UBS, citing a drop in business-to-business volume and an overall reduction in earnings.

The U.S. Senate has told members not to use Zoom Video’s (ZM) conferencing app due to security concerns, according to the Financial Times. That follows Google’s move Wednesday to ban employees from using Zoom on their laptops.

Swiss banks UBS (UBS) and Credit Suisse (CS) will postpone part of their 2019 dividends, bowing to pressure from European regulators. The banks were the last two major banks to make such a move, arguing that their financial positions were strong enough to support dividend payouts.

BlackRock (BLK) will not lay off any workers this year because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to CEO Larry Fink. He also said the world’s largest asset manager will give full-time pay to support staff even if they cannot come to work.

Nautilus (NLS) is forecasting higher first-quarter sales, as stay-at-home orders boost demand for its exercise equipment.

Progressive (PGR) is the latest auto insurer to announce refunds to customers due to a significant drop in driving. Progressive will be refunding about $1 billion, in the form of credits to April and May premiums. Allstate (ALL) and Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRKB) Geico unit had been among those previously announcing such moves.

Stitch Fix (SFIX) pulled its 2020 guidance due to increasing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus impact. CEO Katrina Lake said the online styling service had anticipated the impact on its business, but not the extent to which its distribution centers would be disrupted.


If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering financially from the coronavirus pandemic, you shouldn’t worry too much about your credit score right now, says Chi Chi Wu, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. Your first priority should be making sure that all your basic needs are met. (CNBC)

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